Sam also wrote to Klaw & Erlanger, dramatic agents.
I want to thank you for the way in which you have made it possible for “Huck Finn” to appear on the stage. I have just heard of the adoption made by Lee Arthur under your direction & I want to say that it satisfy [sic ] me completely, I will not dispose of any nights for Tom Sawyer until after your production & to then until I shall have consulted you first.
You can announce the play as Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn adapted for the stage by Mark Twain & Lee Arthur [MTP]. Note: see July 18 for more on the two.
Sam’s notebook: “Gave Erlanger a note thro Dillingham approving Lee Arthur’s ‘Huck Finn,’ & promising no ‘Tom Sawyer’ shall be dramatized before Finn is staged (Nov. 2 ‘02 & not then until talking with Erlanger first. / Kester’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ privilege has lapsed by time-limit” [NB 45 TS 22]. Note: Lee Arthur’s play of HF was a musical comedy. See July 13 to Dillingham.
July 28 Monday – In York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
I’m enclosing the check but not the interest. I don’t ever pay interest until I have examined into a thing & ascertained whether there is a legal way of avoiding it or not. I have generally found this to be a good business method.
Yesterday Dillingham brought up the dramatist of “Huck Finn,” with the MS. It promises to be a pretty good play, & Klaws & Erlanger were so satisfied with it that they are spending $60,000 on it. It will be staged (in the country) in November.
Mr. Witherbee is gone to hell or Mexico, but Whitmore expects to hear from him there [MTHHR 492-3].
Note: Sidney A. Witherbee, millionaire editor of Detroit had made an offer to buy the Hartford house [NB 45 TS 1]. Sam probably knew that Witherbee held the right of way for the Mexican branch of the proposed international railway system, with a ten million dollar concession from the Mexican govt. See NY Times p.6 article Feb.18, 1900, “Mr. Witherbee’s Concession.” see July 1, 1897 for more on Dillingham.
July 29 Tuesday – In Kittery Point, Maine, William Dean Howells wrote to Sam, jokingly calling him:
Dear Mr. President: / I am sorry that the poem [Howell’s poem, “The Mother” to be published in Harper’s for Dec. 1902] has gone to Harper’s Magazine. If it comes back, either in proof or MS. it shall be sent to Mrs. Roosevelt [Livy] promptly.
This will be handed to you by my son, who will now be satisfied with the Russian embassy [MTHL 2:
Sam answered, also this date, but only the envelope survives, which includes the following:
“If there is a P.O. there; failing which it is desired that the nearest P.M. take it in his basket & carry it to him after hours & charge him extra. [return address:] From Theodore Roosevelt / President of the / United States. / per S.L.C.” [MTP; not in MTHL].
Note: Sam liked Theodore Roosevelt’s persona, both public and private, but thought his policies, especially his foreign policy “insane,” and opposed him mainly on those grounds. Interestingly, the two men had much in common, though of different generations. Both moved in the upper classes; were voracious readers; had run-ins with the pious John Wanamaker; had little use for Henry James; were close to Poultney Bigelow and Thomas B. Reed; admired General Grant; supported Grover Cleveland and William McKinley for President; opposed corruption in government, especially Tammany Hall and other city bosses; had experienced great tragedy and loss of loved ones (Roosevelt his first wife and mother on the same day); reveled in nature and the enjoyment of the outdoors; built mansions; were close to many journalists; and lastly, were both authors of some note, with Roosevelt writing the popular multi-volume Winning of the West, and Naval War of 1812, and Gouverneur Morris, and other books. But after the Spanish-American War, it was
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.